Director: John Carney
Writer: John Carney
Stars: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy
A young boy from a family going through the 1980’s recession has to leave his Secondary School (or High School) and go to the cheaper inner city public school which is run by the Christian Brothers. In order to cope with this massive change, his parents of the verge of breaking up, and to impress a girl, he sets up a rock band and escapes into the world of music.
I grew up in Dublin during the 80’s, I went to a Christian Brothers school, and this film just nails every aspect of the Ireland of the 1980’s that I remember.
I guess for those that don’t know I better explain The Christian Brothers. Basically anyone who was too psychotic to get into the Irish/Catholic Priesthood joined the Christian Brothers. They are starting to fade off now and don’t have as many schools under their control as they did back then. A number of abuse and child sex cases have destroyed them. They were violent thugs who provided public education when our state couldn’t be bothered to. I’m not bitter.
Anyway this is a joyful film that had me smiling from start to finish. The amount of detail that they got correct here is just perfect. Add to that one of the best scores of any film in the last few years, that makes you want to tap your feet through the whole film. I honestly didn’t stop smiling throughout the film, it reminded me of The Commitments, which on its release I used to skip school to go and watch time and time again in the cinema. I have a feeling that a lot of people will go see Sing Street and get that 1980’s nostalgia going again. You can really understand the young man and what he is going through, we see the actor growing on-screen, with each song that he sings, and with every interaction he has in this new school just builds him up. There is a minor problem with the ending of the film but it just doesn’t matter as you have fallen deeply in love with the characters that you forgive this.
Playing our hero Cosmo is Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, who has amazing star quality and I can’t wait to see the future for this kid. The chemistry between the cast is just amazing, even Aidan Gillen who I really can’t stand most of the time is perfect, he’s only in the film for a short period of time but maybe that’s all we ever need of him. Playing the girl that Cosmo loves is Lucy Boynton, the interaction between Cosmo and Raphina is just spot on. Jack Reynor turns up as Cosmo’s brother a stoner college drop out who had dreams of starting his own band but for some reason couldn’t get around to it.
The music of the 80’s and the new songs written for the film merge perfectly together to bring us the best soundtrack that we have heard in a long time. The growth of characters and the witty and nostalgic script just sing off the screen. There are very few films in my life that have me from the start of the film until the final credits have rolled, you really only get a few of those films a year, so when they come along you have to make sure that people know to get out there and see them.
How can I sell this to you in a better way? If you like John Hughes movies, some of the best teen movies of the 80’s, and love a great soundtrack then this is the film for you. Movies are meant to move us, make us laugh, cry, feel fear, and feel for the characters even on the bus home. Sing Street is perfect film making from start to finish that you will be happy to spend your cash on.